Amador DVD Review
is the latest dramatic work by director
Fernando Leon De Aranoa (Monday's in the
Sun, Princesas). We begin the
film with a beautiful shot of a flower in desert ground, and the
graceful presence of it is made clear amidst so much emptiness in the
environment surrounding the beautiful flower - it is a flower that is
alone, radiant, and in an environment that doesn't support the flower's
of life: of beauty, of standing tall, and emanating the richness of
What does a flower do amidst the
soils of the earth? It grows... even if surrounded by weeds. We
all have things we can learn and ways
in which we can blossom, no matter what circumstances befall.
is a young twenty-something woman who has immigrated to the United
is without a job and she is stuck in a relationship with a man who
flowers that he steals and turns over for profit. Nothing about their
relationship feels genuine or heartfelt, and at times it seems as
though he is
being unfaithful to her. Marcela feels alone and doesn't see a future
relationship, and yet she stays with him.
wants a refrigerator to store these flowers in and doesn't have the
purchase one so he suggests Marcela find a summer job that is going to
earn them enough for the down-payment. Marcela finds a job as caretaker
Amador, an elderly man who is ill. This quirky drama with a darkly
under-tone thus takes us on a path of strange occurrences, unexpected
friendship, and some lessons in life and flowers.
is a story about flowers. Marcela, the central
protagonist, is a flower
herself: she has beauty inside of her. The flower metaphor is something
hadn't occurred to me until after viewing the film first, but which
apparent upon reflection. I believe this is one of the central messages
story: we all have flowers within us. We
must let them grow... to allow a flower grow within us. Marcella can
shine and so
can the viewers who listen to the inherent message of the story.
film is slow-paced, and
sometimes methodically so. The direction by Fernando Leon De Aranoa
viewers to be along for the ride despite the bumps in the path and the
curving twists within the story frame and foundation. The main goal of
piece seems to be about focusing on the characters. Aranoa does this so
that it is unmistakably one of the primary strengths of his direction
screenplay. He has also crafted such a worthy female character role,
that lead actress Magalay Solier seems to become entirely absorbed
is a moving drama, and the kind
that leads to discussions with fellow viewers after the ending credits
roll. You ponder about where the characters are going and what was
over the course of the film. It's one of those intimate pieces that
more questions than answers: not that it is a film based around the
but it is one that is asking some serious questions about the
life and of flowers. You will wonder about the meaning of it all and it
make you grateful that such filmmakers and films still exist.
presented on DVD by Film Movement in the original theatrical aspect
ratio of 2.35:1
with 16:9 anamorphic widescreen enhancements. This isn't a particularly
looking film, but the cinematography by Ramiro Civita has an ability to
gloomy and surreal during certain scenes and it adds an affecting
the film. I noticed some minor compression in the transfer but this is
generally pleasant presentation that remains well-balanced. Sometimes,
grain seemed more like digital noise to me, but it came as a minor
from the generally strong picture quality.
film is presented in Spanish
with optional English subtitles. The sound design for this film doesn't
much activity from the surround speakers because there isn't a lot
going on as
this film relies heavily on a minimalist approach. The dialogue is easy
understand and that seems to be the biggest compliment to give this
music score occasionally adds the necessary emotional backdrop but
Lucio Godoy is wise enough to realize that the production was often in
silence. This is an intimate character-study in every way.
audio feels designed to be along
for that kind of ride. Keep expectations in check, and expect
primary extra is the monthly short film. This is something that is included on each Film Movement release in the
club. The included film this month is How
From Director Gabriel Nussbaum (18 minutes run-time). In English.
was one of the weirdest short
films that I have ever seen included on a Film Movement release. The
and their actions are quite strange, confusing, and I had some trouble
following what was happening. In essence, the story is about an ill
sits down to dinner for what she believes is her last meal - while
embrace her husband's young, accompanying lover. Quite bizarre and not
one that I found easy to connect to. The
conclusion also left me feeling baffled.
Trailers for other
Film Movement Releases and Cast/Filmmaker Biographies related to Amador are included.
moving and surprising effort from Spain's Fernando
Leon De Aranoa. The film blends together the darkly
dramatic and comedic in strange, surprising ways. I hesitate from
the film with be of much comedic interest, but it does have a lot to
the dramatic pinning's of the story and lead actress Magalay Solier
great performance. This is worth seeking out for anyone who loves indie
with solid character explorations.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.